I Am

I am the South
With my earnest green eyes and brown hair
My magnolia white skin and orange-can curls
My honeysuckle lips and wide laughing mouth
Feminists try to tell me how I should be, 
How I should feel
And act and dress
But I see where that has taken the 
Modern Woman
I am not painted, processed, bleached,
Or colored
I am natural like the wildflowers growing
In my garden
I am not name-brand, tailored, altered, 
Or augmented
I am a floral sundress, a floppy-brimmed hat,
Barefooted, picking blackberries
In the brilliance of the beating sun
I am not nipped, tucked, cut
Or lifted
I am humming to myself, baking biscuits
Stirring lemonade, or brewing sweet tea
I am not fake, desperate for acceptance
I wear clothes that cover the length of my body
I am not the late nights, stale smoke,
Or cheap motel rooms
I am stained glass, chipped tea cups
Hospitality, hope and forgiveness
I am six o' clock dinners 
And "Home by dark" curfews
I am not loud, rebellious, or outspoken
If you want to know me, take a quiet walk with me
Down a dusty country lane.
Speak to me, listen to what I have to say
Look at me, at my eyes and my face
Not with scandalous eyes trailing my body
Imagining what I have to give.
Look at me, not at your cell phone.
Act like I am more important than
Whatever is going on in social media.
Tell me who you are, and maybe
I'll tell you who I am.
I am tangible, I am real, I am attainable.
I am not the lofty absurd dreams 
Paper thin and paper minded like
Girls pictured in magazines
Which are what society tells us is the ideal.
I am the genuine article, the real deal,
I am the old-fashioned romantic
A Southern Belle
Nestled in a new-age, white trash town.
And just because I come from the sticks
Doesn't make me trash.
You can't can't throw me on the rubbage-heap of society
Just because I don't conform to your stereotypes
I don't live in a trailer, trailers are for horses
For livestock, animals, property, 
And I am more than that.
It's called a mobile home, you bullying brow beater.
And a home is still a home
Whether it's made of wood or brick or stone
Or metal sheets and tin roofs
It may not look like much from the outside
But it's mine, and the love within
Forgives it's faults.
I am not not fast or easy.
I will not simply fall into your clutches
As fruit falls from a tree
You have to work for this
I want someone to hold open doors for me
To pull out my chair and carry my bags
Not that I'm not capable.
I am self-sufficient, I can take
What life throws at me
But the point is, I shouldn't have too.
I want someone to cherish me,
Someone who wants to be my shield and my protector
Someone who will be my strength,
And I will be their wisdom, their comforter
The confidante and confider
I should be treasured 
Because I am worth it.
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